Power training is more effective than strength training for maintaining bone mineral density in postmenopausal women

J Appl Physiol (1985). 2005 Jul;99(1):181-8. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01260.2004. Epub 2005 Mar 3.


Physical exercise has a favorable impact on bones, but optimum training strategies are still under discussion. In this study, we compared the effect of slow and fast resistance exercises on various osteodensitometric parameters. Fifty-three postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to a strength training (ST) or a power training group (PT). Both groups carried out a progressive resistance training, a gymnastics session, and a home training over a period of 12 mo. During the resistance training, the ST group used slow and the PT group fast movements; otherwise there were no training differences. All subjects were supplemented with Ca and vitamin D. At baseline and after 12 mo, bone mineral density (BMD) was measured at the lumbar spine, proximal femur, and distal forearm by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. We also measured anthropometric data and maximum static strength. Frequency and grade of pain were assessed by questionnaire. After 12 mo, significant between-group differences were observed for BMD at the lumbar spine (P < 0.05) and the total hip (P < 0.05). Whereas the PT group maintained BMD at the spine (+0.7 +/- 2.1%, not significant) and the total hip (0.0 +/- 1.7%, not significant), the ST group lost significantly at both sites (spine: -0.9 +/- 1.9%; P < 0.05; total hip: -1.2 +/- 1.5%; P < 0.01). No significant between-group differences were observed for anthropometric data, maximum strength, BMD of the forearm, or frequency and grade of pain. These findings suggest that power training is more effective than strength training in reducing bone loss in postmenopausal women.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bone Density*
  • Bone and Bones / physiopathology*
  • Calcium, Dietary / therapeutic use
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / physiopathology*
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Vitamin D